Tag Archives: learning

What’s your doctrine?

In fitness you’ll find many tomes.

Each has its own unique benefits, limitations and place in the realm known as physical culture.

You can probably guess I’ve followed a few over the years.

Becoming embroiled in one thought process is easily done, especially if it’s spoken with enough conviction. In the 70’s we had body building, the 80’s had step, the 90’s was functions training and the last couple of decades brought us CrossFit & HIIT and more recently Movement Culture.

As mentioned above, all have their good points and in truth once you find one that keeps you consistently training you’ll feel great, or at least a part of something bigger than yourself.

I’ve personally been in the industry a fair while now, a literal lifetime when compared to the age of some young adults just stepping in to the field.

In this span I’ve seen trends come and go.

Plus there are a few things that have stayed and will always remain important.

  • Strength
  • Mobility & Movement
  • Health
  • Enjoyment (purpose)

You might love running, if so cool you go run just be aware of what running is lacking from the above (strength).

Perhaps you’re a powerlifter, great just be sure to fill in the missing gaps (health, mobility & movement).

I’m sure you can see where I’m going with this.

On a personal note I don’t really care what people do so long as they are doing it for the right reasons, that being it means something to them that is at the live of their very soul, none of this superficial bullshit, got no time for such pointless things.

Do you love what you do?

No, really, can you say without any doubt you love what you do (in the gym, this kinda applies for life as well – just saying).

If you have any hesitation or have to justify your answer then somethings not right.

You’ll find many a doctrine in fitness, ideal if you find one that have the elements mentioned above that’s the most optimal one, however it’s also rare.

Enjoy,
Ross

Oh, before I forget, it’s okay to create your own style you know. Learn from all the single views of the big picture and eventually you’ll have quite the impressive view to which you can then give back to the realm of fitness by creating something of your own.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

A little S&C for free.

Morning All,
 
Typically I will try and throw out various methods and bits of info for people to take away and try.
 
No specific reason for it other than if an idea crops up it might as well be shared.
 
You may find some of the older programs below useful.
 
You may not, either way they’re there.
 
One thing I have noticed in the age of the internet is the abundance of info and free stuff, it’s quite the time to be alive.
 
The slight issue is that it means people don’t go looking for the right info, just what they want to read.
 
Take some free training sessions people share.
 
Most are high volume bollocks that has no rhyme or reason.
 
There is little focus on developing much of anything in their training and it’s all for the attention.
 
While it is true there’s many ways to the top of the fitness mountain each one needs strength.
 
Here in lies the problem, people don’t want to get strong.
 
As such this little protocol today is focused on that very thing, with some added extra for those who want to leave feeling their heart race (because people are addicted to feeling that they’ve done something).
 
– Main Movement(s): 2-3-5
– Accessory Movement: Time or Distance Goal
– Conditioning Element: Optional sprint protocol
 
You might be wandering what I mean by 2-3-5 in the main movement, it’s pretty simple yet will be rather scary to some people.
 
You literally just to a set of two, then rest, then a set of 3 and rest some more and finish with a tough set of 5.
 
Yep, the 2 & 3 are your warm up sets.
 
This goes against conventional wisdom and that’s why it works.
 
You’ll need to have some focus as this doesn’t give you the option of pissing about.
 
Here is an example day with 2 main lifts performed as a super set (you can pick as main man lifts as you choose and perhaps have easier ones to potentiate harder ones).
 
A1 – Deadlift 2-3-5 Rest 120 seconds
A2 – Press 2-3-5 Rest 120 seconds
B1 – Famers Walk 10min x20m carries
C1 – Rowing Interval 8/12 x5min
 
Simple.
 
Depending only our time you can be in and out of the gym in 20min or stretch it to 45, that’s up to you.
 
In regards to progression (if you keep the movements the same) add 2-3% to your top lift each session and milk it for all its worth.
 
Funny how many people miss that little gem.
 
If something is still progressing and producing results stick with it as long as possible.
 
^^ On average a lift/movement does well for about 6 sessions for most people and then needs changing as a guide.
 
Take a read on the above and leave your thoughts below.
 
If this isn;t for you that’s cool however I’d like you to take away one thing; train for strength first and foremost because being weak isn’t good and will lead to an early grave.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

They’re only words after all.

Respect, admiration and praise.
 
Just a few things most people want.
 
While maybe not from the masses it will be desired from either specific peers or people of importance to you.
 
In the fitness realm you’ll often find in a somewhat ironic twist that the people you want these things from are the ones who’ll put you through all the ‘shit tests’.
 
We call them friends.
 
Not just any friends though, your honest ones that you might even consider your bestie’s.
 
It is a few simple words from this ilk that can make all the difference.
 
On that same token though all it needs is one jibe and you get cut deep because that’s how friendships work 🤔
 
You might have read the words above and feel these aren’t for you.
 
If so that’s cool, however do you know which ones do resonate?
 
What do you want from your training and more importantly why?
 
Many will come up with the reasons that sound go.
 
You know like being their best self and all similar things, however admitting that there is a side of you that wants things or emotional sustenance you might say is okay.
 
To have a world of unanimity it must start from your heart.
 
Be honest with yourself and to your true motivations.
 
It’ll feel like a weight has been lifted and progress can truly be made.
 
So my good people, do you resonate with the three words above or are your ones different?
 
Enjoy,
Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

Trusty Rusty

A man and his kettlebell.
 
Because no dogs were available at the time.
 
Have you ever thrown around the aforementioned cannonball with a handle?
 
They offer a plethora of benefits.
 
Strength, mobility, CV, power and much more.
 
Their beauty comes from their simplicity because you don’t need much to accomplish a lot, provided you don’t have a kettlebell that is little more than a door stop in regards to total weight.
 
I’m sure many will disagree with this.
 
Oh well never mind.
 
What will transpire below is not for the very de-conditioned although it can be adapted for such.
 
Here is what weight I’d recommend for you have as an essential starting out:
 
Gentlemen – 24kg
 
Lady – 16kg
 
With such limited choice you’ll have to be clever with training and keep things simple yet effective.
 
Try this short 26 week protocol –
 
Weeks 1-6 – Get Up & Single Arm Swings
 
– Up to 10 total get ups per day
– 75-250 single arm swings per day
 
Weeks 7-12 – Clean & Press (or push press, or jerk)
 
– Clean ladder 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 with 1 Press
– Press ladder 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,19 with 1 Clean
– Alternate between the above per day
 
Weeks 13 – 18 – Single Arm Swings & Squats/Push Ups*
 
*can be pistols/single arm push ups*
 
– Single arm Swings 75-250 per day
– Goblet Squat or Push Up* ladder 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10
– Alternate SQ/PU each day
 
Weeks 19-24 – Single Arm Swing, Clean, Press, Squat
 
– Complex ladder 1,2,3,4,5
– Perform up to 5 ladders each say (one at a minimum)
 
This isn’t fancy, however it is effective as you can tweak movement variations to your hearts content and add in some GTG (grease the groove) work if you feel strong enough.
 
^^ I’ve found a pulling movement works well for GTG.
I’ve personally done the above with a 32kg and found limiting the choice was a great way to give myself a much needed kick up the arse.
Give it a go and as always –
 
Enjoy,
Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

A Habit for Every Mood

Habits are funny things.
 
Much like anything we have one for every mood or situation.
 
Some make us feel good, others motivate us and a few do nothing better than punish and stall of progress.
 
Over they years I’ve become more adept at finding out a persons reason why they have these little patterns.
 
Personally knowing has always been a priority.
 
It’s just my inherent personality trait, some call it being nosey and others say far worse, yet knowing has always been that insatiable lust of mine.
 
To not have considered every option, sacrilege.
 
It probably came form being an only child and spending countless hours alone quietly playing with the same few toys and each time comping up with a new story.
 
Of course without knowing more there was only so many situations I could pull from thin air because truly original ideas are few and far between.
 
Habits, much like knowledge, don’t just come thin air for the most part. You’ll find we either pick them up from watching others or then being suggested to us.
 
After all a habit was once a choice you consciously made.
 
Might not be what people want to hear however it’s the truth in the largest majority of situations.
 
In regards to your habits do you know which ones you have for which mood?
 
Take 5min to make a list.
 
What is your immediate reaction in the following:
 
– Happy
– Sad
– Angry
– Confused
– Tired
– Focused
 
The list can be longer and for any mood/emotion you can think of and I bet you will have a habit for each, be that to get you in to or out of the desired emotional state.
 
Once you know what habits are anchored to what emotions you can begin to understand why this is and start that lengthy and often painful process of letting go the ones which are detrimental and creating new more productive ones.
 
While this is simple it won’t be easy.
 
Growth never is though.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

Deliberate Practice FTW!

Did you know you’ll never be good at the things you don’t do.

🤯🤯🤯

I know right, quite the mind blowing sentence.

Funny thing is this is something a lot of people actually forget or just don’t seem to be aware of.

When it comes to fitness, or movement as a whole the use/disuse principle is quite really one people should keep in the back of their mind at all times.

If you are looking at having a certain set of skills they need to be practiced.

^^Once you acquire the skills maintaining them (depending on how high a level you want to retain) can take minimal effort.

Same goes for an area you’re aiming to improve or build upon, it needs some attention. 👀

All that being said, you’ve also got to accept there may be some form of sacrifice of what you have to gain what you want.

The cosmic balance must be maintained as it were.

I like to think of it like spinning plates.

You can spin only so many as one time, those will be the ones that are looking good yet there will be some that are slowing, others that are about to topple and a few that are already in free fall, that’s just life.

Using fitness as an example.

You are rather unlikely to bench press 500lbs while also being able to run a sub 5min mile pace on a marathon.

True enough it’s not an impossible task to achieve, however it’s just not probable or reasonable for many.

In our mind we see ourselves at our peak or what was our last peak of fitness, this leaves us with a hefty dose of cognitive dissonance in regards to our abilities.

You’ll also find it’s another reason people won’t push themselves out of their comfort zones and be humbled.

Unless it’s proven it can be ignored. 🤔

Many would rather live in blissful ignorance than uncomfortable awareness.

Sad but very true.

So to wrap up this little mid morning musing take some time to be honest with yourself.

What areas do you need to work on more than you do?

^^This can be in relation to fitness, life, business and more.

Give it some thought.

Enjoy,
Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

Funny Old Emotions

Fellow coaches/trainers.

Are you in control of your emotions or are they in control of you?

Seems like a simple enough question to answer, it’s not.

You’d be surprised how many folk don’t really want to delve in to deep in to the emotional dregs that are weighing them down to find out which is the one causing all the other to pile up.

It’s surprisingly easy o know if someone is ruled by logic or feeling in a situation.

They either respond (logical) or they react (emotional).

Their tone of voice, pace, pitch, words spoken and often posture will give this away, not to mention some people faces just can’t lie.

Personally I’m like this, if something is utter tripe my face will let my fellow chatter companion know.

Another interesting bit of information about emotional reactions; it happens because it’s our egos way of protecting itself from death.

Yep, our ego fears its own death most.

Passional emotional reactions can usually end up linked to this, along with beliefs, values and occasionally a persons self proclaimed identity.

Don’t get me wrong, we need such things.

Without emotion we’d be no better than machines.

That being said, they can get in the way and control people for many years, a lifetime in some cases.

We link emotion to everything we do, literally

Once you can understand how and more importantly why then you will have a very powerful set of skills to help not only yourself but countless others as well.

Let us take food for example.

You will have a specific food that links to a specific emotion/feeling and when you’re not getting said emotion/feeling you will dive straight into the cupboard/fridge/freezer to pull out your crutch for that hit of instant gratification & feeling.

We subconsciously know this as well.

Why else do you think we ask people if they feel better after they’ve eaten?

We don’t ask them – “Are you nutritionally sustained from your meal?”.

No, we ask them how they feel and it they feel that they need any more or anything else.

Listening to the way people talk is an incredible skill.

Allowing each word to settle in your mind while also observing all the idiosyncrasies can really help you understand a person.

First though you must understand yourself.

“Because, if you can’t love yourself how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?Can I get an Amen?” – RuPaul

Give some though to the above, are you in control of your emotions or re they in control of you?

Enjoy,
Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

A quick little bit of info on three ways you can split up some basic linear progression.

1 – Single Progression
2 – Double Progression
3 – Triple Progression
 
These can be tweaked using your understanding of the key principles of overload.
 
– Volume
– Intensity
– Density
 
(Specificity & Frequency also play a part)
 
Here is an example of how all three are written out.
 
*You add load once you’ve hit all the desired reps.
 
Single Progression = 3×8 💪
 
Once you hit 8 reps in each set you add weight, simple.
 
Double Progression = 3×8-12 💪💪
 
Starting out you might hit something like this: 11,9,8
 
The next session it might be : 12,11,9, get the idea?
 
Once you hit 12,12,12, you add load to the bar.
 
Triple Progression = 3-5×8-12💪💪💪
 
I’m sure you can see the pattern now. You want to hit 3×12 then you add a set and work towards 4×12 and finally 5×12 before adding load, however here is how things might look:
 
Session 1 – 12,12,10
Session 2 – 12,12,12 + 1 set next session
Session 3 – 12,12,10,8
Session 4 – 12,12,11,10
Session 5 – 12,12,12,11
Session 6 – 12,12,12,12 + 1 set next session
Session 7 – 12,12,12,12,10
Session 8 – 12,12,12,12,12 + load, drop back to 3×8-12
 
Personally I’m quite the fan of double and triple progression as they have their own built in de-loads via volume reduction.
 
The above deals quite nicely with Volume (total sets/reps) and Intensity (% of RM or load) for progression methods.
 
That leaves us with looking at density (work per unit of time/work capacity), this is easy to program in if you want to have people build al little more conditioning before adding load.
 
We will use double progress with a density consideration as the example.
 
3×8-12, 90-30 seconds rest.
 
Here is what the details might look like written down:
 
Session 1 – 8,8,8 – 90 seconds rest between sets
Session 2 – 12,10,8 – 90 seconds rest between sets
Session 3 – 12,12,12 – Rest as above, drop rest by 30sec
Session 4 – 12, 8,8 – 60 seconds rest between sets
Session 5 – 12,10,8 – 60 seconds rest between sets
Session 6 – 12,12,12 – Rest as above, drop erst by 30sec
Session 7 – 12,8,8 – 30 seconds rest between sets
Session 8 – 12,10,8 – 30 seconds rest between sets
Session 9 – 12,12,12 – Add load, take rest back to 90sec & reps back to 3×8
 
Hopefully that’s nice and clear.
 
Oh yea, frequency and specificity.
 
Specificity is linked directly to the goal (or the movement progressions) and you can use the progressions above and change the movement to make it more or less specific to the goal.
 
For example, You want to increase your press overhead.
 
Double Progression – Press until reps/set/rest hit however instead of adding load you change the lift to one that allows more load.
 
So it may look like this:
 
KB Bottom Up Press > KB Press > Z Press > BB Press
 
And so on.
 
Frequency is the easiest to play with , however it can lead to burn out if you abuse it.
 
Frequency = more training days on your desired goal.
 
EG 2 pressing days becomes 3 pressing days becomes 4 pressing days, using double progression it might look like this.
 
Press 2xP/W – 3×8-12 – goal hit +1 pressing day, load stays the same
 
Press 3xP/W – 3×8-12 – goal hit +1 pressing day, load stays the same
 
Press 4xP/W – 3×8-12 – – goal hit, increase load and drop back to 2 pressing days per week.
 
^^ That is without playing with density by the way.
 
As you can see once you apply the basic principles to even the simplest set/reps systems you have a method of programming that can literally last you a lifetime.
 
The thing about the above is that it’s all fundamental.
 
Mastery of the basics such as these will take you a long way.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

Making the Jump

Results are easy and almost always guaranteed when your’e working with beginners.
 
Literally everything works due to their level of noobness.
 
As a PT/Coach if you don’t get a beginner to a goal then you might need to reevaluate your career choice.
 
The struggle comes from those who’ve perhaps been in the gym for a while and have achieved results once or perhaps a few times before they take up your services.
 
These are the one that need you to delve in to the realms of fitness far deeper.
 
Personally I split it in to 4 pieces.
 
1 – Their Why
2 – End Goal
3 – The Emotional Need
4 – Willingness to Sacrifice
 
Let us break them down.
 
1 – Their Why
 
Helping someone is easy, however helping someone reveal or understand why they want to do X,Y or Z is an entirely different matter.
 
Having a cast iron ‘why’ will keep people moving forwards because each time something crops up you can ask them if they remember why they’re doing what they’re doing (as in why they’re working towards the goal).
 
2 – End Goal
 
You’d do well to look at this in a big picture sense.
 
We might even say it’s the perfect outcome they they desire that links unquestionably with their why.
 
Once you know the big picture you can start to pick out the smaller pieces of it to help set the small milestones as this will allow those quick wins and little hits of emotional sustenance and validation that is sought.
 
A goal is more or a leaking tap dripping single water droplets every hour to fill a bath tub than it is using a hoe to fill a paddling pool.
 
3 – The Emotional Need
 
We do what we do because we want to feel a certain way.
 
Emotion drives many people, it is linked with their reason why they do what they do. The need is to fill a hole that they consider almost as important as air to breathe.
 
If the need isn’t being met then other methods will be sought to fill this void like emotional eating or some other such debauchery.
 
Knowing what/how/why people currently feel and more importantly why they want that to change and what it will mean to them is the key element many miss.
 
4 – Willingness to Sacrifice
 
There can be no change without change, and their can be no real change without sacrifice.
 
Such might be going out 2 nights a week on the lash instead of 5, or forgoing the tub of ice cream each night before bed and so on.
 
The only problem is that people get very emotionally attached to their habits and to sacrifice them causes quite a nasty feeling (usually loss).
 
When working with beginners they’re ready to give things up because they see it as only short term, then they revert back to their old ways and expect the results to stay; this is not how change works.
 
This is where working with those who’ve repeated this cycle become difficult as they’ve gotten trapped in no longer wanting to sacrifice anything while still desiring change.
 
We can relate this back to why they want said change, and if it is more or less important to their habit/thing that needs to be sacrificed.
 
You’ll often find there is an emotional attachment/need to the sacrifice in question which then leads us to asking which is more important, the thing or the end goal.
 
Some will say “Why can’t they have both?” and put simply it is because they just can’t due to conflict.
 
As the old saying goes, you can’t make an omelet with out breaking any eggs.
 
Same goes for achieving a goal, somethings got to give.
 
This is how you can start to take those troubled clients forwards.
 
Understand it’s less about the training at this stage (although that is of course important) and more about the mindset required.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

Mobility Master

Being able to move unimpeded and pain free is something a lot of people want.

All it would take is one quick google search and you’d find all the information you need to put a plan together, alas many of us are too lazy for that, thus we will just let our body slowly stiffen and lose its ability to move well.

When I’m away teaching there are a few key drills I will put in to warm ups to see how well people move, it’s also easy to spot just by looking at people who that is.

Total body coordination is something we’d really do well not to lose.

It’s it quite surprising how many people will watch the other people in the groups I teach that move what I’d consider ‘normally’ and are like “OMG, wow, that’s amazing.”.

Ummm not it’s not, that’s something we everyone should ideally be abel to do, so in truth the people that can more are not amazing, you’re just really really broken in a moment sense.

Don’ts get me wrong, I’m not talking about people moving like Ido Portal from day one.

More along the lines of having basic coordination skills and not making yourself look like your 80 because of how crap your movement skill is.

These are the three main movement I will get people doing (they give me all the knowledge I need).

1 – Inch worms (a lunge step to upper thoracic rotation is also added in)
2 – Spiderman/Lizard Crawls – ideally hey get their chest as low to the floor as possible
3 – Duck Walks & Sit Through

If the facility has one then I’d also like to see a rope climb as well, beginner level is using feet, I’m ideally after people to climb and descend using arms only.

The reason for these is simple, the first tests mobility/flexibility/stability.

The second looks at mobility, stability and strength.

The third is mobility, balance and movement coordination.

If we have a rope then that tests strength because I’ve found that while some people more well they are very weak.

When time is short and I need one simple test to assess everything in one go it will be the TGU (turkish get up), I will proceed to see how heavy they can go with the gold standard being 1/2 their bodyweight per hand, if someone can do that then good things happen.

Give the above a try, you can hope on YouTube and find them all easily if you’re not sure what they are.

You’ll also find adding these to your assessment methods will highly who need what and in what dose.

Try them yourself because while you don’t need to be perfect at everything you do, you need to be competent in demonstrating it well, otherwise you may look a tad foolish.

Enjoy,
Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health